In the following video blog, I talk about my current challenges in life and vocation. The last few weeks have given me the opportunity to discover where God is in the face of my doubt and life’s uncertainties.
And it’s prompted me to ask, “What does it mean to trust God?”
Have you faced any uncertainty lately? Having difficulties trusting God? Are you trusting in a certain outcome, or are you trusting in the God revealed in Jesus? May we be comforted in our knowledge of Christ.
D.D. Flowers, 2013.
May 11th, 2013 at 12:19 pm
As far as free will, It’s impossible to read scripture and deduce anything other than predestination when it comes to salvation. There is much to be said about that, and it would be an awesome blog. ( that would be as big of a discussion David as your previous posts on the subject of homosexuality. HA!) At the end of the day I would have both the predestinationers and the freewillers teaming up to drag me to the back of the church building to beat me up. This only pertains to salvation. But I don’t want to discuss that.
I do know one thing: after salvation, anything goes. The freewill aspect of what you are talking about here is full on. I agree 10,000% with your take on life and free will. Anyone disagree? Try living life. Try living life that is saturated with human encounter and human experience, and at the same time saturated in deep, endearing, devoted personal faith in a living God. Always moving through life with all its victories and setbacks, and gains and losses, and joys and sorrows; but always – never able to escape – the presence of our living God working personally in our lives. Confused at times; sure at other times; courageous and sometimes terrified at life; and tossed with every emotion toward Him and with Him in your walk through life as you know He is fully there with you. Distant, seemingly in your relationship at times, but at other times as if He is actually physically touching you as you feel so close.
In my personal pursuit of prayer and faith, and my study of them and teaching of them; I have concluded that one is to regularly present himself and the things of his life in detail to God in prayer with spoken words (whole study can be done on that aspect of faith and prayer). Pray the prayer regularly – daily – not as rote repetition, but as a longing and trusting statement and exercise of faith placing yourself and all things you into the will of the Father. This includes everything from finances, the ill child, one’s personal self control, God’s will in one’s church body, difficult relationships, one’s personal service to God – everything with detail and audibly spoken in prayer to the Father on a regular basis.
I suggest an opening to such a prayer as this…
“Dear Father, this is my prayer that I pray in faith, that I am and will be and am becoming this…
These things are my needs and desires as I respectfully and humbly request from You to bring them about in my life and in the lives of those you have brought into my world. Lord God in heaven… supervise and watch over and make reality this prayer of the man I want to be – IN JESUS! Lord God and Father, I give this prayer and its purpose to You. This is my request to You and my exercise of faith that these things will be done in Jesus name. Of all things in this prayer from start to finish, Your will be done! Work your will and purpose and fulfill it in my life.”
Once you have dedicated this prayer to God, state your needs and desires. Place your trust and faith in Him like you never have before. Then pursue these things with all vigor and at the same time allow His will with all vigor. Don’t just do it once and then sit back having prayed. Make it a habit – a daily habit – and do not stop. Be specific. Voice the prayer outloud between just you and Him. Write it down and read it if you must. Don’t shy away from writing down your prayer and reading it. God has a certain affinity toward the written word.
And Dave… onward, upward, and forward – full steam ahead!
So much more on this. I hope someone gleans something from all this.
May 11th, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Hey Barry, I appreciate your friendship and faithfulness to the blog.
We can chat later about why I think “predestination” has been misunderstood by Calvinists. 😉
May 11th, 2013 at 7:20 pm
MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU – Hi, David. It’s been awhile since we’ve connected but I had to write to you after listening to your video. First, my prayers are with you regarding the choices you and your wife make for the future. Secondly, your words and situation brought a myriad of thoughts to mind that I want to briefly respond to.
As you point out, the difficulties of life come whether you are a Christian or not. It’s a fallacy to think that Christians will be treated better in life than non-Christians. To see my wife, a woman of deep faith and solid commitment to Christ, suffer for over eleven months with cancer put an end to that kind of thinking. (Yes, we had some ‘good Christian folk’ say that she must not have had enough faith or prayed enough.) Her sickness and death was one of the most difficult tests of faith I’ve ever experienced. But, as sad as it was, God blessed in many ways.
Two thoughts especially come to mind. In a recent movie there was a line that, as a Christian, I so much appreciated. It went, “Everything works out for the best in the end, and if it’s not the best (at the present), then it’s not the end.” Regarding faith, many years ago I heard a sermon in which the pastor said something like, “The most important thing is not the strength of my faith, but the strength of Jesus in whom I place my faith.” So to hear that your faith in is Jesus (I already knew it was!) is to know that whatever happens you will find “the best” in the end and will grow even closer to God as you rely on him to provide you support and strength to make the necessary decisions.
OK… this has gone long enough. Just wanted you to know of my good wishes for you and that I’ll be praying for you, expecting THE BEST in the end. – Blessings!
May 11th, 2013 at 11:44 pm
Dan, I have fond memories of our visit in PA. Thank you for sharing this. I’m blessed by our friendship. Love ya, brother.
May 13th, 2013 at 8:06 am
prayin’ for you and your family!
May 13th, 2013 at 8:23 am
May 13th, 2013 at 6:41 pm
I believe in free will AND predestination…. think of it this way – it’s like a computer program with “if… then” statemenets. The “if” part is the free will, but the “then” is the predestination. An example is, IF I hit my thumb with a hammer, THEN it will hurt. Essentially, “predestination” is just consequences.
On a slightly related note, David, you might really enjoy watching a video series study on the book of Ecclesiastes by Tommy Nelson titled, “A Life Well Lived”.
May 13th, 2013 at 7:57 pm
D, loved the new vlog entry. It seemed as though you had some epiphanies throughout the video. We win! I love it. You are a wonderful Christian with so much to offer and I hope the perfect “possibility” comes your way!
May 13th, 2013 at 10:41 pm
Thank you for the kind word, Amy. It’s encouraging. 🙂
September 29th, 2013 at 9:47 pm
I think I read something by Boyd a while back and liked it, but I think it was a borrowed book. I own copies of “The Openness of God” by Pinnock et. al. and one called, “Did God Know? a study of the nature of God” by H. Roy Elseth. Have you ever looked at either of those? Anyway, I feel for you in this time of job related stress. I haven’t spent enough time studying the “authorities” on the doctrine of openness to know how widely accepted this view is, but I see a lot of places in the Bible where people actually DON’T have free will. Mind you, I’m not saying that God would cause us to get saved or to repent without us making the choice to do so, but God does seem to intervene at times and force a person’s hand. Think about Pharaoh and how God said he would harden Pharaoh’s heart when Moses was to confront him and ask that Israel be freed from Egypt. Think also of the prophecy of the temple being commanded to be rebuilt, and the command coming from Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28 and Is 45:1). When the high priest prophesied that Christ would die for more than just the nation of Israel in John 11, I highly doubt that he meant to foretell the coming of the church age! Certainly, the spirit of the prophet is subject unto the prophet, but that prophet may not completely understand what he’s saying. I think it is also common that God can cause people to help Christians in general even when those helpers don’t know why they want to help. I trust that this post is old enough that you have learned some of the outcomes of all this in the mean time. God bless, and thank you for the thought provoking post.
Dave der Punkt